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Brief by Central Staff

Internet – October 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Internet service in Central Colorado has been in a flux lately. The first provider to offer local service, Rocky Mountain Internet, has withdrawn from the area.

RMI, based in Colorado Springs and a strong presence along the Front Range, arrived about two years ago, in the fall of 1995.

It quickly gained hundreds of customers, which meant growing pains as it tried to add lines and had to wait on US West, which meant its customers had to endure busy signals, and then slow connections when they did get on.

But the service here wasn’t completely Rocky Mountain Internet — it was a partnership. RMI maintained the accounting, server computers, and Internet backbone connections in Colorado Springs.

The partner, Ken Swinehart of Alamosa, owned the local connections in Leadville (Buena Vista at first), Alamosa, and Craig, and the income was split between Swinehart and RMI.

For reasons not yet clear to us, RMI and Swinehart parted company. They agreed that Swinehart would start his own Internet service,, with local nodes in Leadville, Alamosa, and Craig, and RMI would transfer those accounts to Amigo and withdraw.

The transfer happened on Sept. 2 — local RMI customers could no longer connect to RMI. Making the connection to Amigo required changing several names and numbers in a customer’s email and browser software, and the material RMI sent out earlier didn’t have certain numbers. Nor was email automatically forwarded, although RMI’s service technicians were quite helpful.

So, is now hereabouts. But Amigo is not the only Internet service provider in the area. Colorado Supernet, now just Supernet, arrived about a year ago with a Salida note.

More recently, Mountain Computer Wizards moved to Buena Vista from Gunnison, and opened That’s where we’re getting our primary service now:

Eventually, we hope to have a web page and our own domain and all that neat stuff. We are somewhat amazed that, barely more than two years ago, there was no local Internet service, and now there are at least three.

Even if the trains don’t run any more, and even if U.S. 285 gets closed by an occasional rockslide, Central Colorado is connected.

Just which connections, though, depend on boundaries from US West. Buena Vista, Salida, and Leadville are all local calls from each other, so a provider in one spot works for them all.

But Saguache is local from Salida, not Buena Vista or Leadville, so Saguache users could get local service from Supernet, not Amigo or Chaffee.

The same holds in the Howard area, but there they have an option from a new service based in CaƱon City, Royal Internet Services (, which should also work locally from Westcliffe.